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RIM flicks open first clamshell BlackBerry

Pearl 8220 unveiled

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Research In Motion (RIM) has introduced the eagerly awaited BlackBerry Pearl 8220 - its first clamshell handset.

Opening the 8220 reveals is 240 x 320 display - there's a smaller, colour screen on the lid, along with a video-capable, flash- and zoom-fitted two-megapixel camera.

RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8820

RIM's BlackBerry Pearl 8220: you'll... er... flip for it

Alas, it's not a 3G device - cellular connectivity is limited to quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge, but at least the 8220 has 802.11b/g Wi-Fi on board and can support UMA for routing calls through hotspots rather than carrier networks. It has Bluetooth 2.0 too.

RIM noted the handset's ability to sync up with Apple's iTunes music library. Songs copied to the phone can be stored on Micro SDHC cards of up to 16GB in capacity, the company said.

More serious-minded users can create and edit Microsoft Office docs using DataViz' Documents To Go software, bundled on the 8220. Text can be punched in using RIM's 'one key, two characters' SureType Qwerty keyboard.

There's no on-board GPS pick-up, but the handset does come with RIM's own BlackBerry Maps that can talk to an external GPS dongle and plot routes and read out out directions.

The 8220's removable rechargeable 900mAh battery provides four hours of talk time and over 14 days of standby time, RIM claimed.

RIM didn't name any worldwide carrier partners, but it did say they'll be offering the 8220 this autumn. In the US, T-Mobile has the exclusive.

RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8220 Photo Gallery

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